Newport Beach Named "Superstar" in Environmental Report
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council found that the area has some of the cleanest ocean water in the country.
Vikki Vargas, Kevin Dahlgren
A new beach report from the Natural Resources Defense Council cites Newport Beach as a consistently clean stretch of ocean with minimal bacteria counts. Vikki Vargas reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from Newport Beach Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
Newport Beach is a superstar, according to a national health report released Wednesday.
The Orange County beach was among 35 popular beaches across 14 states that consistently met water quality safety thresholds, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The beaches met national water quality benchmarks 98 percent of the time over the past five years.
"That makes me very happy because we come here every summer," Arizona resident Melissa Abney said about Newport Beach in north Orange County.
But it was a different story in Malibu. The report calls the area just east of the pier "a repeat offender."
Officials say the problem is caused by runoff from a nearby lagoon and constant septic problems.
"It's the wet weather conditions when we get these rains that none of the systems we've put in place work," said Surfrider Foundation Environmental Director Chad Nelsen.
Septic tanks that leak year around, combined with weather and storm runoff, contribute to the contamination, officials said.
"Most of our beaches are pretty clean during dry weather conditions," Nelsen said.
The Nation's 35 "Superstar" Beaches
- Alabama: Gulf Shores Public Beach in Baldwin County
- Alabama: Gulf State Park Pavilion in Baldwin County
- Alabama: Dauphin Island Public Beach
- California: Newport Beach in Orange County (1 of 3 monitored sections)
- Newport Beach - 38th Street
- Delaware: Dewey Beach-Swedes in Sussex County
- Florida: Bowman’s Beach in Lee County
- Florida: Coquina Beach South in Manatee County
- Florida: Fort Desoto North Beach in Pinellas County
- Georgia: Tybee Island North in Chatham County
- Hawaii: Hapuna Beach St. Rec. Area in Big Island
- Hawaii: Po’ipu Beach Park in Kauai
- Hawaii: Wailea Beach Park in Maui
- Massachusetts: Singing Beach in Essex County
- Maryland: Point Lookout State Park in St Mary's County
- Maryland: Assateague State Park in Worcester County
- North Carolina: Ocean Pier at Main St. and Sunset Blvd. in Brunswick County
- North Carolina: Beach at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Dare County
- North Carolina: Ocean Pier at Salisbury Street in Wrightsville Beach in New Hanover
- North Carolina: Ocean Pier at Ocean Blvd. and Crews Ave. in Topsail Beach in Pender County
- New Hampshire: Hampton Beach State Park in Rockingham County
- New Hampshire: Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Rd. in Rockingham County
- New Hampshire: Wallis Sands State Park in Rockingham County
- New Jersey: Washington (Margate) in Atlantic County
- New Jersey: 40th St. (Avalon) in Cape May County
- New Jersey: 40th St. (Sea Isle City) in Cape May County
- New Jersey: Stone Harbor at 96th St. in Cape May County
- New Jersey: Upper Township at Webster Rd. in Cape May County
- New Jersey: Wildwood Crest at Orchid in Cape May County
- New Jersey: Broadway (Pt. Pleasant Beach) in Ocean County
- New York: Long Beach City in Nassau County
- Virginia: Virginia Beach at 28th St. in Virginia Beach County
- Virginia: Virginia Beach at 45th St in Virginia Beach County
- Virginia: Back Bay Beach in Virginia Beach County
- Virginia: Virginia Beach - Little Island Beach North in Virginia Beach County
- Washington: Westhaven State Park, South Jetty in Grays Harbor
The Nation's 17 "Repeat Offenders"
Over the last five years of this report, sections of 17 U.S. beaches have stood out as having persistent contamination problems, with water samples failing to meet public health benchmarks more than 25 percent of the time each year from 2009 to 2013:
- California: Malibu Pier, 50 yards east of the pier, in Los Angeles County
- Indiana: Jeorse Park Beach in Lake County (both monitored sections):
- Lake Jeorse Park Beach I
- Lake Jeorse Park Beach II
- Massachusetts: Cockle Cove Creek in Barnstable County
- Maine: Goodies Beach in Knox County
- New Jersey: Beachwood Beach in Ocean County
- New York: Main Street Beach in Chautauqua County
- New York: Wright Park – East in Chautauqua County
- New York: Ontario Beach in Monroe County
- Ohio: Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula County
- Ohio: Arcadia Beach in Cuyahoga County
- Ohio: Euclid State Park in Cuyahoga County
- Ohio: Noble Beach in Cuyahoga County
- Ohio: Sims Beach in Cuyahoga County
- Ohio: Villa Angela State Park in Cuyahoga County
- Ohio: Edson Creek in Erie County
- Wisconsin: South Shore Beach in Milwaukee County